In response to inquiries on cases of child abandonment, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) stressed that its primary mandate is to intervene on behalf of abandoned children to ensure their welfare and protection.
This came at the heels of cases of children being abandoned in public places, including the incident wherein a newborn baby boy was found within the premises of one of the DSWD Central Office buildings.
DSWD Director for Community Programs and Services Bureau Rosalie Dagulo explained that the department will provide care and protection by taking them to it’s children’s centers and facilitating their documents for possible adoption. The DSWD will also exert effort to find the children’s relatives.
“For a “foundling” or a child found without any birth fact, the Department does two important things: trace the family and to provide the child with a family through legal adoption,” Dir. Dagulo further explained.
“We try to track the parents of the abandoned child and assess their parental capability. If the parents are deemed incapable of protecting and caring for their child, DSWD will take the child into custody. The Department can match the child with prospective adoptive parents through legal adoption.”
She continued, “Hindi namin ibibigay ang mga batang natagpuan na abandoned sa kung sino-sino lang na nagsasabing gustong mag-ampon. May sinusunod tayong proseso ng adoption para sa kabutihan ng bata (The abandoned child will not be automatically given to those who declare that they want to take care of the child. They have to go through the legal adoption process).”
Under the legal adoption process, social workers carefully and thoroughly study the cases children with the aim to match them with prospective adoptive parents.
Meanwhile, on the status of the mother who gave birth in a comfort room at the DSWD Central Office, Dir. Dagulo shared, “We were able to trace the mother and we immediately sent a social worker to talk to her as she might also be undergoing some crisis. She is currently in a hospital for proper medical care. Counseling is also being done so that we can more clearly determine why she ended up leaving the baby.”
She also mentioned that at present, it is too early to make conclusions as to why the mother acted the way she did. But as she is now undergoing counseling, the DSWD requests the media to respect her privacy and the decision of the DSWD to keep personal information about her under wraps. The Department cannot provide information about it’s clients under the Code of Ethics of Social Workers.
Dir. Dagulo also appealed to pregnant women who are experiencing emotional distress or under stressful situation to seek help to avoid similar cases.
“They can approach DSWD social workers or those at the local social welfare offices. We are ready to listen and provide a shoulder to cry on,” Dir. Dagulo ended. ###